How to Know When It’s Time to Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioner

Knowing when to repair or replace air conditioning equipment is a struggle many homeowners have faced over the years. Buying an air conditioner is a big investment for your home – you want to make sure you make the most out of the one you have, while making a smart purchase decision for the next one. In many situations, there isn’t a clear answer.

In our most recent blog, Novak Heating, Air and Duct Cleaning discusses the types of questions you should ask to help you determine whether you should repair or replace your current air conditioning system.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

Repairing or replacing your air conditioner can be the difference between spending thousands of dollars today for improved comfort and energy efficiency or patching up your old system for a low cost and suffering through its poor performance a while longer.

Homeowners want to avoid choosing a full replacement too soon. However, it’s important to find the sweet spot. After all, you don’t want to hang on to your old AC too long and have it break down in the middle of the summer.

When you face a situation where you must decide whether to repair or replace you air conditioner, examine the following questions from both sides of the coin before you decide:

1. What’s the Age of Your Current Air Conditioning Unit? 

While there is no exact number that can be given for the average lifespan of any HVAC equipment type, average life expectancy is a good place to start. A central air conditioning system will last about 15 to 20 years (though other factors mentioned below should be considered to increase or decrease this estimate). 

  • If your current air conditioner is 15 years or older, system replacement is inevitable – it should already be on your home improvement list in the near future. If your home needs a new unit soon, is now the right time to do it, or could it stand to wait a little longer?
  • Alternatively, if your air conditioner is still fairly young, it probably makes more sense to repair it now. Depending on its age, there may still be warranty coverage from the manufacturer that will pay for certain repairs.

2. What Repairs Are Needed, and What Do They Cost?

If the air conditioning repair is relatively minor and affordable, many choose repairs regardless of the system’s age. Even if your air conditioner is in its final cooling season, the price of an inexpensive or simple repair today could get you through the remainder of the season. This could give you more time to choose replacement options and find the best deal rather than feeling stuck paying thousands on a cooling system you haven’t looked into because it must be done now.

3. How Often Have Repairs Been Made?

Even if the system’s repair needs are minor now, don’t jump right in just yet. Take note – air conditioners and heating systems tend to have more frequent repair needs at the end of their service lives. While the cost of a single repair seems minor, the overall costs are adding up if you’ve been making frequent minor repairs over the past year or two. If this is the case, you should really evaluate whether or not it’s paying off to keep patching up your system or if your money would be better spent invested in a new AC unit.

4. Was Regular Maintenance Performed Over the Years?

Make no mistake, neglecting maintenance will cut years off your system’s service life, while thorough maintenance could potentially add years to it. If you face the decision to repair or replace your aging air conditioner and the repairs have been piling up, the years of forgetting annual tune ups mean it’s more likely the end of the road for your air conditioner. 

On the other hand, if your old air conditioning unit needs a minor repair now, hasn’t required repeated calls for service recently, and has been properly maintained over the years, you can likely feel confident that your air conditioner has more useful life left to give. 

Repairing or Replacing Air Conditioning Equipment in Cedar Rapids

No matter which way you decide, Novak Heating, Air and Duct Cleaning is here to serve you with comprehensive air conditioning services in Cedar Rapids. Our reliable HVAC system technicians perform fast repairs to restore comfort and outfit your home with new cooling equipment for efficient comfort over the years to come. Contact us today to schedule service or request an installation estimate for a new air conditioner.